Robert (left) and Daniel (right), the two activists released Friday night (Photo by Steve Horn)
Two more antiwar activists, in from out of town to protest the NATO Summit, were released from a police station on the south side of Chicago late tonight at roughly 10:00 PM, making it a grand total of six activists released so far, of the nine detained without charge by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) on Wednesday, previously covered on Antiwar.com.
The other three remaining weren’t so lucky. They’ve been charged with, as Occupy Chicago has reported on its Twitter feed, “possession of incendiary or explosive device, conspiracy to commit terrorism & providing material support for terrorism.” “Material support” of terrorism, under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 signed by President Barack Obama, is a crime that could call for indefinite detention without a trial, begging the question: are these legitimate political prisoners?
One Occupy activist noted, “It’s NDAA in full effect. We are doomed.”
“The National Lawyers Guild deplores the charges against Occupy activists in the strongest degree,” said Sarah Gelsomino with the NLG and the People’s Law Office. “It’s outrageous for the city to apply terrorism charges when it’s the police who have been terrorizing activists and threatening their right to protest.”
There will be a bond hearing at noon today. The three activists names, according to the NLG, are Bryan Church, Jarred Chase, Brent Betterly.
The lame excuse for arrest and “terrorism” charges and the subsequent police raid to begin with?
The activists were making “molotov cocktails” to use in their protests, or so reported the sycophantic local press in Chicago. As Kevin Gosztola of FireDogLake explained in a previously written blog post well worth reading, “Local news reported a ‘police source’ had recovered ‘Molotov cocktails.’ There is no evidence of the existence or production of Molotov cocktails. The police did confiscate a home brew-making kit.”
“I haven’t stayed anywhere except for in the custody of Chicago’s finest,” he said after his release.
The “gang of nine” were (or still are, in the case of three being charged with “terrorism” charges) held in solitary confinement, with their two feet shackled and one arm cuffed to the bench in the cell, according to the activists.
Murphy said the police “Refused to tell us what charges were for our entire 20 hours spent there,” in an interview with Antiwar.com.
As is obvious from a quick glance on YouTube, Murphy is not shy about expressing his grievances with the police, in the case of this particular video, titled, “Daniel Murphy’s 3 minute rant to line of NYPD @ Union Square #OWS,” the New York Police Department (NYPD). Translation: he was likely an easy, visible target for the CPD or the FBI or whoever was responsible for targeting these activists.
The activists also said the police were taunting, name-calling (“terrorists”), and were, generally speaking, rude and verbally abusive in all ways to the activists.
Gosztola describes the horrifying arrest scene well, writing,
They came in with guns pointed at the activists’ faces and were screaming so we couldn’t really understand what they were saying. The activists froze and waited for them to give commands.
Police ransacked the home, throwing property. A watermelon and printer was thrown. They were dumping clothing and material out of bags. One of the arrested activists says police ‘destroyed everything.’
Remember, this all comes on the prelude of the NATO Summit — the Summit and the big days of activism on the streets of downtown Chicago are yet to come. It should be an ugly weekend, to say the least.
Stay tuned for a follow-up report after the bond hearing.
Update: These pictures up on the blog Shortwave America, in a post titled, “Chicago NATO Command and Communications Operations Update,” are a must-see. Chicago has been transformed into a war zone.